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Current economic research denies the innate characteristics of the entrepreneur Rather than attributing economic growth and innovation to personality traits economists would rather advocate a form of economic determinism if an aggressive personality dominated an industry economists try to explain the characteristics of the industry that made aggression a successful strategy Economic models are contrived to remove the personality from the entrepreneur to make all entrepreneurial decisions predestined given enough time However to deny Bill Gatess or Steve Jobss role in economic history is equivalent to denying Hitlers role in creating a Nazi Germany or Castros role in creating a Communist Cuba Claiming that history or economics is deterministic is silly Entrepreneurs are people who make decisions their decisions need not fall out of dry economic models just as no literary model could predict the words of Shakespeare and no historical model could predict the future However we must be systematic in our approach to identifying entrepreneurial characteristics and not fatuously assert that entrepreneurs drive economic change Instead we must link specific entrepreneurial tasks to specific entrepreneurial traits with the goal of understanding how these traits crucially affect the evolution of a business from a startup to Fortune 500 company This paper will explore current economic views of the entrepreneur and assert that there are common entrepreneurial traits that affect both the decision to become an entrepreneur and the level of entrepreneurial success We must first debunk the idea advocated by Knight and Mises of the entrepreneur as risk-bearer Peter Swoboda 1984 Aside from making every stock market participant an entrepreneur this definition simply does not describe actual entrepreneurs and must be discredited In Amar Bhides 1989 study of Inc 500 companies where an Inc 500 company grows its sales on average by 170 percent per year from 1983 1988 Bhide found that they have a low scale for profitable operation in most cases less than 10000 With low fixed costs and a small
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